Robert Henke

Associated person(s)
URLsArtist's page

2013 - 2014

Research and teaching

Lille, France
Professeur Artiste, Le Fresnoy, Studio National Des Arts Contemporains

2013 - 2014
2009 - 2012

Research and teaching

Berlin, Germany
Professor for Sounddesign, Berlin University of the Arts

2009 - 2012
1988 - 1996


Potsdam-Babelsberg, Deutschland
1988 wurde Henke in München als Studiotechniker engagiert. 1990 begann er an der Technischen Hochschule Berlin ein Studium mit den Fächern Informatik und Kommunikationswissenschaften, wechselte aber 1992 an die Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen „Konrad Wolf“ Potsdam-Babelsberg, um ein Studium der Tongestaltung aufzunehmen. Henke beendete dieses 1996 erfolgreich mit einer Abschlussarbeit über die Echtzeitmodellierung nichtlinearer Distortionen von Schallplatten.

1988 - 1996
- 1969


Munich, Germany

- 1969

Places of work / studios

Berlin, Germany


Robert Henke is an artist working in the fields of audiovisual installation, music and performance. He was born 1969 in Munich, Germany, and lives in Berlin.

Coming from a strong engineering background, Henke is fascinated by the beauty of technical objects and developing his own instruments and algorithms is an integral part of his creative process.

His materials are computer generated sound and images, field recordings, photography and light; transformed, re-arranged and modulated by mathematical rules, real time interaction and controlled random operations. Robert Henke's work has a particular focus on the exploration of spaces, both virtual and physical. Many of his works use multiple channels of audio or are specifically conceived for unique locations and their individual properties. For the past few years, he has been exploring the artistic usage of high power lasers in his installations and performances.

The results include music on the edge of contemporary club culture, surround sound concerts, compositions in the tradition of academic computer music, photography, audiovisual installations, sound art and publicly available software. His long term musical project Monolake, founded in 1995, became one of the key icons of a new electronic club music culture emerging in Berlin after the fall of the Wall.

Robert Henke is also one of the main creators of the music software Ableton Live, which since its invention in 1999 became the standard tool for electronic music production and completely redefined the performance practice of electronic music.

He writes and lectures about sound and the creative use of computers and held teaching positions at the Berlin University of the Arts, the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University, and the Studio National des Arts Contemporains - Le Fresnoy in Lille, France.

His installations, performances and concerts have been presented at Tate Modern London, the Centre Pompidou Paris, Le Lieu Unique Nantes, PS-1 New York, MUDAM Luxembourg, MAK Vienna, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, STRP Biennale Eindhoven, and on countless festivals.



2015 Lecturer, CCRMA, Stanford University, USA 
2013 - 2014 Professeur Artiste, Le Fresnoy, Studio National Des Arts Contemporains, Lille, France 
2013 Artist in Residence / Lecturer, CCRMA, Stanford University, USA 
2013 External Examiner (PhD Derek Foott), Department of Music, UCC Cork, Ireland 
2009 - 2012 Professor for Sounddesign, Berlin University of the Arts, Berlin, Germany


2013 ILDA award for Fragile Territories installation 
2013 Artist in Residence, LeFresnoy, France 
2013 Honorary Mention for Works for Wave Field Synthesis, Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria 
2013 Mohr Visiting Artist, Music Department, Stanford University, USA 
2012 Artist in Residence at Electroni[k] Festival, Rennes, France 
2010 Artist in Residence, EMPAC, Troy, USA 
2007 Artist in Residence at Tesla Media Laboratory, Berlin, Germany 
2007 Artist in Focus at Dis-Patch Festival, Belgrade, Serbia 
2007 Honorary Mention for Layering Buddha, Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria


2016 Parralel, The Lowry Theater, Manchester, United Kingdom 
2015 Destructive Observation Field, laser installation, The Lowry, Manchester, United Kingdom 
2015 Werk III, Zollverein Mischanlage, Essen, Germany 
2015 Destructive Observation Field, laser installation, Krake Festival, Berlin, Germany 
2015 Destructive Observation Field, laser installation, STRP Biennale, Eindoven, Netherlands 
2014 Fragile Territories, laser installation, Rennes, France 
2014 Destructive Observation Field, laser installation, Kunstwerke, Berlin, Germany 
2014 Destructive Observation Field, laser installation, Le Fresnoy, Lille, France 
2014 Ritual, sound installation, Stony Brook University, New York, USA 
2013 Works for Wave Field Synthesis, CTM, with students of the Sound Studies faculty of the University of Arts, Berlin, Germany 
2012 Fragile Territories, laser installation, Le Lieu Unique Nantes, France 
2012 Eternal Darkness, site specific sound installation, Grosser Wasserspeicher, Berlin, Germany 
2012 Fundamental Forces, FF03 screening, International Digital Arts Biennial, Montreal, Canada 
2012 Fundamental Forces, FF02 screening, MAK, Vienna, Austria 
2011 Fundamental Forces, FF01 screening, Musikprotokoll, Graz, Austria 
2011 Transition Machine, audio visual installation, Fargfabriken, Stockholm, Sweden 
2010 Traffic, video installation, Klang im Raum, Berlin, Germany 
2007 Cyclone, interactive sound installation, Dis-Patch Festival, Belgrade, Serbia 
2007 Linear Grid, interactive network installation, MUDAM Luxembourg and Philharmonie Luxembourg 
2004 Atlantic Wave Terminals, interactive network installation, Singuhr Hoergalerie, Berlin, Germany



Destructive Observation Field photo Destructive Observation Field 2014 Robert Henke 
Fragile Territories photo Fragile Territories 2012 Robert Henke